2011 Volvo XC90 Introduction

The Volvo XC90 is big on safety, comfort and functionality. It was launched in 2003 and its appearance freshened in 2007. The sporty R-Design models joined the lineup in 2009. The 2011 Volvo XC90 benefits from a slight increase in power but carries over largely unchanged.

The Volvo XC90 seats seven passengers. Leather seating, power glass sunroof, rear park assist and third-row climate control are standard equipment. It swallows more cargo than its competitors, and it comes with features that allow quick, easy tailoring for cargo, gear or people. An integrated center booster cushion adds versatility to the second-row seat and eliminates the challenges associated with installing a separate child seat.

The all-wheel-drive works smoothly, without penalty in fuel economy, and it's truly welcome when the weather gets foul. Buyers who don't need all-wheel drive can choose an XC90 with front-wheel drive.

The XC90 is not the sportiest vehicle among luxury-class SUVs, but it handles well on city streets and highways. It rides very comfortably and it's easy to park. The XC90 3.2 is rated to tow trailers up to 3,970 pounds, which describes light boat trailers, personal watercraft, snowmobiles.

The 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine is up to all the demands of daily driving and delivers a good value, in our view.

The 2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 gets a 5-horsepower increase, to 240 hp, with 236 pound-feet of torque. The 2011 XC90 gets an EPA-estimated 16/22 City/Highway miles per gallon, an increase of 1 mpg over the 2010 model.

2011 XC90 models come standard with Bluetooth and Sirius satellite radio, along with watch dial instrumentation and silver roof rails.

Technically, the 311-hp V8 is in the 2011 lineup, but alas there are no more. Sold out. The 4.4-liter V8 was developed to Volvo specifications by Yamaha, the Japanese motorcycle builder and auto engine specialist, and it was wonderful. Still is, if you can find a pre-owned one.

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